Under-taxing the wealthy is a challenge for our Revenue Minister – but evidence for a new policy will be destroyed

Having got things admirably correct with his opinion as Attorney-General on the wretched Rotorua local body bill being promoted by Tweaker Coffey,  it looked  like David Parker had stumbled as Revenue Minister

The impression of a stumble was given by a Stuff headline which read   Revenue Minister David Parker lashes very wealthy for being undertaxed, calls for new tax principles

But if someone is being undertaxed, very wealthy or not, shouldn’t someone at the Inland Revenue Department be hauled into the Minister’s office to explain what’s going on?

And if it turns out that the undertaxed individual is breaking the law, then the next step is clear. Prosecution is the path to be taken.

If the fault lies with the law, then the next step is clear, too, albeit on a different path.  In this case, the law must be changed. Continue reading “Under-taxing the wealthy is a challenge for our Revenue Minister – but evidence for a new policy will be destroyed”

Buzz from the Beehive: Parker talks rubbish (and how to recycle more of it)

There has been just one ministerial announcement since Point of Order last reported on the Buzz from the Beehive.  It came from Environment Minister David Parker, who said the Government is taking steps to improve recycling at home “and on the go” and is inviting citizens to have their say.

The press statement highlighted

  • Improved kerbside recycling so New Zealanders can recycle the same materials all around the country and have access to a food scraps bin at kerbside.
  • A scheme that incentivises people to return their empty drink containers for recycling.
  • Separation of businesses’ food scraps from general waste to reduce greenhouse gasses and put the scraps to positive uses.

The statement noted that every year New Zealand generates more than 17 million tonnes of waste and sends almost 13 million tonnes of that to landfills. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive: Parker talks rubbish (and how to recycle more of it)”

US and Chinese interests are at stake in violent Honiara politicking: NZ waits to be asked for help before becoming involved

Latest from the Beehive

Violence in Honiara – three days of looting and destruction, demands for the PM to step down  and the declaration of a nightly curfew – has prompted one of two new posts on the Beehive website since we last updated our monitoring.

Reporting on the unrest, RNZ Pacific correspondent in Honiara, Georgina Kekea, said only six buildings were still standing in Honiara’s Chinatown.

In Wellington, Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker has expressed this country’s deep concern at events unfolding in  the capital of the Solomon Islands.

“New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. Continue reading “US and Chinese interests are at stake in violent Honiara politicking: NZ waits to be asked for help before becoming involved”

Two inquiries aim to throw light on power blackout – but a switched-on govt should see it’s more than market failure

The  blame-game over  the  Monday  night   power  blackout   has  deepened.

Ministers initially  talked  of  “market  failure” – National accused the government of  being  asleep  at the  wheel

Then ACT said the  government’s energy  policy  was  “flawed”  because  it  puts  carbon emissions  ahead  of  affordable and  secure electricity,  through the ban  on  natural  gas  exploration.

The   Green Party,  for its  part,  contends the  “gentailers” are  more focused on chasing  profits than providing   more affordable,  more  renewable, and  more  secure  electricity  generation.   

Meanwhile  two small players in the electricity market have made a formal complaint to the Electricity Authority following Monday’s rolling blackouts. Continue reading “Two inquiries aim to throw light on power blackout – but a switched-on govt should see it’s more than market failure”

How to reduce waste and where to go for public funding to finance your project

Point of Order has been sniffing into waste – or, more precisely, the minimisation of waste – since Environment Minister David Parker announced a $20.5m investment to reduce waste going to landfill in the Bay of Plenty

Parker said the $20.5m had been dished out to the Tauranga City Council from the Government’s Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) to support essential waste infrastructure projects in Tauranga that also serve the broader Bay of Plenty region.

“Our support to the Tauranga City Council’s city waste infrastructure project is another example of the Government’s commitment to accelerating regional New Zealand’s recovery from the impacts of Covid-19. 

“The project is a collaboration with private industry. It will create jobs and minimise waste going to landfill in the Bay of Plenty.”

But don’t we have a Waste Minimisation Fund for this sort of thing? Continue reading “How to reduce waste and where to go for public funding to finance your project”

NZ First might seem washed up but Kaikohe’s water storage project (helped by the PGF) wins fast-flow consent

Hurrah – someone in the Beehive is back in the business of braying about the approval of the spending of public money.

Fair to say, it seems the Government did not actually make the decision to approve a new water storage reservoir in Northland, the first of several infrastructure projects

 … earmarked for a speedy consenting process that aims to accelerate New Zealand’s economic recovery from Covid-19.

But Environment Minister David Parker said the government did welcome the decision.

He made something of a meal of it, actually, banging on about a veritable trifecta of virtues.  The project will –

  • Boost the economic recovery from Covid-19;
  • Protect environmental standards; and
  • Satisfy Treaty of Waitangi principles.

If the project did not pass muster in the Treaty department, would the plug have been pulled?    Continue reading “NZ First might seem washed up but Kaikohe’s water storage project (helped by the PGF) wins fast-flow consent”

Sediment, jobs and mauri – Minister responds to questions about measuring progress on Kaipara cleanup

We found nothing new, in our daily check of the Beehive website.  But we can report the reply to questions that were raised in an announcement from Environment Minister David Parker (which we noted at the time) earlier this month.

The announcement was headed Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step.

In this, Parker announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils

“ …  to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland.”

In August 2019 the Kaipara was named as the first “exemplar” or “at-risk” catchment to receiving backing as part of the Government’s work alongside local communities and iwi to improve water quality.

In this year’s Budget, as part of the Jobs for Nature package, the Government committed $100 million towards the remediation of Kaipara Moana, New Zealand’s largest estuarine ecosystem, with a matching $100 million contribution from local councils and landowners.  Continue reading “Sediment, jobs and mauri – Minister responds to questions about measuring progress on Kaipara cleanup”

PACER Plus to take effect in 60 days after Cook Islands ratifies it

The Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify PACER Plus, enabling the Pacific regional trade and development agreement to enter into force in 60 days.

Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker has welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands ratified the agreement, which required eight ratifications to take effect.

Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and New Zealand are the eight signatories.  The remaining signatories that have not yet ratified the agreement are Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

PACER Plus will make trade easier for signatories to the agreement, which will grow jobs, boost sustainable economic growth and contribute to a safer and more prosperous Pacific, Parker said. Continue reading “PACER Plus to take effect in 60 days after Cook Islands ratifies it”

Whatever trade gains are made in NZ-UK trade talks, we should brace to share them with Australia and the US

Trade Minister David Parker is gung-ho about getting a trade deal with the UK sewn up. He says NZ and the UK have strong trade and economic ties.

“NZ is pleased to be among the first countries to negotiate a trade agreement with one of our oldest friends”.

With a New Zealander, Crawford Falconer, in charge of the UK trade negotiating team, Parker, like the rest of the country, will be hoping for a favourable deal.

But as the UK is getting to grips with what NZ is seeking, it is also locked in negotiations with Australia and – moreover – is looking to seal trade deals with the US and Japan.  In that context, the negotiation with NZ may seem only a footnote.

For NZ, the difficulty may be that if it gets a deal done first with concessions from the UK, particularly on dairy and meat, then the UK may feel obliged to offer the same terms to Australia, and perhaps even the US.

The same day Parker was announcing the trade talks between NZ and the UK are to kick off,  Aussie Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, in Canberra, was telling Australians he was seeking an FTA with the UK and was aiming to “open up new doors for our farmers, businesses and investors”. Continue reading “Whatever trade gains are made in NZ-UK trade talks, we should brace to share them with Australia and the US”

While malcontents assail historical links with Britain, Parker puts NZ on course to shape a trade partnership through an FTA

Latest from the Beehive

The best news from the Beehive since we reported yesterday is that New Zealand and the UK have formally launched free trade negotiations.

At least, it’s the best news from a national perspective.  Farmers in drought areas may well be more heartened by the government’s decision to pump an extra $3 million into the Drought Recovery Advice Fund.  This is designed to help hundreds of farmers and growers recover from drought “and prepare their businesses to better meet future needs”, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor reminded us.

Significant drought has affected many parts of New Zealand and this fund will provide relief across all of the North Island, the Chatham Islands, Christchurch, Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman, Selwyn, Kaikoura, and Waimakariri districts and regions.

But farmers should be just as delighted by Parker’s announcement that New Zealand is among the first countries to negotiate a trade agreement “with one of our oldest friends”. Continue reading “While malcontents assail historical links with Britain, Parker puts NZ on course to shape a trade partnership through an FTA”